Without any specific planning, I came to realise that my BA flight departs from Heathrow Terminal 3 in the booking process. In terms of (Oneworld) lounge situation Terminal 3 is much more preferable than Terminal 5, given the lounge choice between British Airways, American Airlines, Cathay Pacific and Qantas. And even better, American Express just opened its new Centurion Lounge in October 2021, so it’s a great opportunity for me to check it out.
Amex has now opened a handful of Centurion lounges globally outside the United States. I’ve visited the one in Hong Kong a couple of times pre-pandemic and really liked it.
I have the whole day to myself at Heathrow so spend some time in the much loved Qantas and Cathay lounges too, which I’ll write about later. T3 feels much smaller than T5 or even T2, but the signage is a bit confusing and it takes me a while to find the Amex Lounge.
It’s nicknamed Lounge A – turn right after security, and you’ll find a lift towards the end.
One level up and the lounge entrance is right in front of you. There’s a kid’s club on the left but I didn’t check it out.
Entry rules are as follows:
- Amex Platinum card members can bring up to 2 guests
- Amex Centurion card members can bring up to 2 guests, or the entire immediate family (spouse and underaged children)
- You are allowed entry from three hours prior to your flight departure
The guest rule is generous enough, however unlike airline lounges, you can’t show up anytime on the day even if it’s way ahead of your departure. Amex card, passport and boarding pass are needed for verification.
The interior is mainly wooden or beige.
There’s a business room immediate to your left. Small cabins are provided which are very convenient if you need to attend a phone call or video conference.
Move forward to see the bar and dining area.
With a very delicate afternoon tea set at the side.
And a semi-private relaxation area.
That’s about it. Size-wise the lounge is nowhere near how the Qantas one measures, not to mention the huge space Cathay occupies. However it’s really new and tastefully furnished. You may have noticed the London map in the picture above already, and there’s also a display of cricket bats:
What I love most is this turquoise retro display made of books and suitcases:
Food is arranged in small plates and feel free to take all you can eat.
There are chicken, beef and vegetarian options. Presentation is really nice and so is the taste. The Japanese soba noodles are quite good.
Don’t forget to grab a drink from the bar too – they have cocktail menus.
Usually I’d say Cathay Pacific Business Lounge is my favourite at Heathrow, given its various dining and super comfortable seating options. Comparatively, the Centurion Lounge is much smaller, but feels more upscale and is slightly better in terms of food. The next time you are at T3, don’t forget to reserve some time here.